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Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

102 Horses Starved to Death by 

North  Dakota Owner

By Dorinda Troutman, RMR Staff Writer

Photos courtesy of Alison Smith, Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue

 

March 2013 issue  

 

Many of the surviving horses had ringworm, as this paint shows around its eyes.

 

 

      In January 2013, law enforcement in two adjacent central North Dakota counties found horse bodies piled and stacked up in barns and a stock trailer on two properties owned by William Kiefer, and they seized all of the horses, mules and donkeys left alive on the properties.

      Alison Smith of Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue in Morton County took in 119 horses and cared for them at her facility at no charge to the county. Donations of time, food and money have helped her facility with expenses incurred. Many of the horses there were also injured when fighting for food, and had ringworm, a fungal skin disease. Many had grossly overgrown hooves that the rescue arranged to be trimmed.

      A North Dakota District Judge ruled February 7, 2013, that the seized equines could be sold or adopted out by the sheriffs’ departments in charge of them. Alison Smith reports that 80 of the horses have been adopted.  

 

      No charges have been filed against the horses’ owner as of the print deadline, although under current North Dakota law, the most he could be charged with is a misdemeanor, although County prosecutors could possibly charge each neglected/dead animal as a separate incident. Kiefer is also being sued by two people for not paying $10,000 for hay he received from them.

      In a related issue, the North Dakota Senate unanimously passed an updated animal welfare bill in February that would make animal cruelty a felony after a third offense; mistreatment of a group of animals one charge rather that one charge per animal; and that will streamline the process for seizing animals. This law will not be in effect for the Kiefer case.

      Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue, in Mandan , ND , helps both miniature and full sized horses that need new homes. Sadly, in mid-February, they began working with two more horse neglect cases. They may be reached at 701-220-4449, on Facebook, or visit their website at www.hhhmhr.org.

 

 

Alison Smith, of Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue, reports that by February 17, 80 of the starved horses had been adopted. Twenty-two horses are still recovering and should be ready for new homes by summer. Sweetie Pie, pictured in the photo at left, was one of the horses that did not make it. Smith says that “So many people volunteered and tried to help. My husband stayed all night in the barn with Sweetie Pie in sub-zero temps, and I brought coffee and visited during the night. A valiant effort, and the end result of what happens when you have severe neglect. She was simply too weak. She would eat and drink but finally gave up. Much depression as well as more than 100 horses dying around her — she simply gave up.”

   

Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

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Rocky Mountain Rider Magazine • Montana Owned & Operated 
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